Tech Thursday Round Up – December 23, 2010

  • SBA Launches the NEW
  • New ‘Collaboratory’ Gives Entrepreneurs a Place to Share and Develop Ideas, and Win up to $10,000
  • Small to Midsized Businesses Optimistic About 2011
  • Gogobeans Provides Free Slice of the Internet to Store and Share Your Digital Stuff <
  • Concur Reveals December 21 as Busiest Day for Expense Submissions
  • Facebook outpaces Google and all other social media platforms in driving traffic to Eventbrite
  • HP ePrint and Business Apps Now Available
  • Launches Self Managed Web Design Platform

SBA Launches the New

SBA Unveils New Web Site and Launches SBA Direct – A New Tool Delivering Personalized and Targeted Resources
sba.jpgSBA Direct allows visitors to personalize their browsing experience according to their business type, geography and needs. SBA Direct then delivers relevant and targeted information on all aspects of running a business such as the steps involved in getting started, business growth strategies, and how to stay compliant with current laws and regulations. SBA Direct also provides information on the available SBA programs that can help businesses succeed, such as financial assistance, exporting and government contracting opportunities, counseling and training.

New ‘Collaboratory’ Gives Entrepreneurs a Place to Share and Develop Ideas, and Win up to $10,000
Thumbnail image for intuit.jpgDo you have Intuit’s next great idea? If so, the company wants to hear from you. Intuit Inc. is unveiling a website where innovators can collaborate to solve some of the company’s biggest product challenges. And in the process, someone’s bright idea may be worth up to $10,000.
Called the Intuit Collaboratory, the site offers individuals, academia and businesses the chance to grow together with Intuit through open innovation and partnerships. The potential payoff for budding entrepreneurs is virtually unlimited: the chance to bring a new idea or product to market with the support of a global company with leading brands, a large customer base, award-winning products and extensive marketing and distribution channels.
Small to Midsized Businesses Optimistic About 2011
zoomerang.pngZoomerang survey finds 84 percent of SMBs predict sales to increase or remain the same next year
Of the more than 1,000 SMB decision makers surveyed, 72 percent believe the economy will improve or stay the same in 2011. With 84 percent of the respondents predicting that sales will stabilize or improve during the next year, many SMBs are planning moderate changes, such as hiring new employees or upgrading technology.
View the entire report here.
Gogobeans Provides Free Slice of the Internet to Store and Share Your Digital Stuff
Gogobeans launched a web-based service providing users with their own personal space on the Internet to store, organize, and share digital property.
gogobeans.jpgWhen users upload their material to their account, Gogobeans wraps a four-tier security layer around each digital asset, or bean, which allows users to determine with whom to share the bean. Beans can be shared directly by “bouncing a bean” to specified individuals or over popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg. Users can search by keyword or file name to locate the digital property stored or connected to their personal Gogobeans locker.
Gogobeans digital lockers are accessible from any internet ready device. Its cross-platform access, flexibility of accepted media combined with the security of how and when beans are shared makes the service ideal for anyone looking to store, organize and share digital files ranging from photos and digital music to large graphic design files and presentations.
When Gogobeans users share a bean, they aren’t sending along the file itself. They are granting permission to access the existing storage location to the people they elect to share it with. Not only can recipients connect to those bounced beans, the sender can track their bean like a FedEx package to ensure it’s been received by the intended recipient.
Concur Reveals December 21 as Busiest Day for Expense Submissions
concur_breeze_logo.pngREDMOND, Wash., Dec. 21, 2010 — Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, has identified December 21 as the busiest day for submitting expense claims. Based on trends from thousands of companies using Concur’s technology, these findings show that the claims made on that single day – also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year – were 132 per cent above the average as employees rush to recoup costs ahead of the holiday break. Concur’s data also revealed a 19 percent increase in the number of expense claim submissions during the two weeks leading up to Christmas, adding to the huge pressure faced by accounting teams who are expected to process claims before they head off to enjoy the festivities.
One factor contributing to the increase in claims is the annual surge in client hospitality and office parties taking place over the holidays. However, many of those claims also represent pent-up costs incurred by employees on behalf of their companies in October and November that need to be processed before the year is up.
Concur’s data is based on expenses captured in its automated expense solution used by thousands of large and small companies across the world. Concur’s web-based and mobile solutions eliminate cumbersome aspects of the expense reporting process and enable the finance department to deal with the rush. However, the vast majority of companies still rely on archaic manual expense reporting systems based on spreadsheets and paper receipts, creating huge pressure for the accounting team.
“The benefit of an automated expense system is that it removes the hassle and heavy workload often placed on the finance department at this extremely busy time of the year. For example, you don’t have to worry about having the right paperwork and receipts stapled together. Credit card charges are automatically imported, and a quick camera phone captures the receipt image from any cash transaction, providing an online record that is much easier and more efficient for the employee and finance team to review, manage and track,” commented Hilton.
Facebook outpaces Google and all other social media platforms in driving traffic to Eventbrite
eventbrite.gifA particular aspect of Facebook’s business is giving rise to an entirely new approach to commerce and marketing. In the Fall of 2008, Eventbrite saw an increase in the amount of traffic that Facebook was driving to their site—people were learning about events through their friends’ Facebook posts. They built a single-click tool that would post event details to a Facebook Event.
To further promote social sharing, in October of 2008 Eventbrite integrated with Facebook Connect in order to enable ticket buyers to easily share their ticket purchases with friends. Most recently, in September of this year, they integrated social recommendations into Eventbrite. For ticket buyers who log into Facebook Connect, users get a personalized, targeted list of Eventbrite events that their friends are attending.
These features benefit both event holders and event attendees who use Eventbrite. Hosts move more tickets through the meaningful and viral recommendations of their guests who use Eventbrite and Facebook Connect to spread the word about the exciting performances, classes and conferences. And the sharing and social discovery tools make it easy for ticket-buyers to find events that they can enjoy with friends. Ultimately, attendees benefit from doing the work of event promotion on behalf of the host—and Eventbrite makes it easy.
Through Eventbrite’s social commerce study they have been able to ascribe a monetary value to these benefits. On average, each share on Facebook drives 11 visits and an additional $2.52 of ticket sales. It’s this kind of figure that highlights how Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg, are having an amazing impact on the landscape of ecommerce. It also highlights how companies like Eventbrite, who build Facebook integration into their products, will be able to enhance their users’ experience and augment their success.
HP ePrint and Business Apps Now Available
hp.jpgHP announced the release of a new firmware update for its latest generation of select networked HP LaserJet printers, giving customers increased capabilities to conduct business. Customers with the latest generation of HP LaserJet printers supporting HP ePrint and HP Business Apps will be able to download the update and begin using the innovative print solutions immediately.
HP ePrint technology provides SMB customers with the ability to print from any mobile device by simply sending their documents – from emails, contracts and photos – directly to any ePrint-enabled LaserJet printer. Every HP LaserJet printer has a unique email address that allows the sender to deliver a print in the same way they would send a message. Customers can send documents to print to any ePrint-enabled LaserJet printer, whether that printer is in the home, the office or an HP ePrint public print location like Fedex Office. The firmware update for HP ePrint is currently available on six HP LaserJet printers, with more on the way.
HP Business Apps are accessible via the touchscreen display of select HP LaserJet printers and include a number of solutions that increase productivity and enhance workflow, including printing marketing materials, business forms and stored online documents without a PC. Customers can also use the touchscreen display to explore new services and customize their printing experience on the HP ePrintCenter, an online hub for users to register and configure their products and receive updates according to their preferences, track ePrint jobs, and browse new print apps.
horizblueline.JPG Launches Self Managed Web Design Platform is a self-managed online design platform that offers a range of high quality design solutions delivered within 48-72 hours for a fraction of standard industry prices. Design services include Banner Ads, Twitter Backgrounds, Landing Pages, Email Designs, Mini Sites, Logos, Facebook Fan Pages, WordPress Themes, Icons and Screen Capture Videos. is ideal for small businesses, e-commerce sites and marketing agencies that don’t have the luxury of in-house designers and don’t have the budget to hire an outside designer, which can cost hundreds of dollars. On average can save clients about 70% of what they would have paid by working directly with a designer. is only site that offers a self serve design platform for virtually all web design products with fixed transparent pricing and turnaround time
The interface is extremely simple and easy to use, and the client doesn’t need to talk to anyone. For example: a client that wants to order a banner simply chooses the size he wants, enters the required text, uploads any images he may have and enters the URL to where the banner should link to. Within 48 hours the client receives an email to his order and reviews the banner. If he wants changes performed he simply enters his revisions in an input box – up to three for free.

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.